Category Archives: Literature and Translation

Women and violence in Italian literature

The journal Spunti e Ricerche has published Women and Violence in Italian Literature (2018, vol.33), a special issue edited by Gregoria Manzin and Barbara Pezzotti. The nine contributions draw on examples mainly from 20th century novelists (Maraini, Albinati, Patti) but include discussions of a play (Dacia Maraini’s Passi affrettati) and poetry (the works of Margherita Guidacci). Also addressed is the place of gender violence in Federico De Roberto’s novels (I Viceré, L’imperio, Ermanno Raeli)  the portrayal of violence in religious schools in colonial Somalia by postcolonial Italo-Somali authors (Scego, Ali Farah), and  the representation of female characters in the crime fiction series by Scerbanenco, Lucarelli, and Verasani. Although the contributors don’t neglect the socio-political context of the works they analyse, their primary emphasis is mostly on the texts themselves – the narrative strategies employed, the embedding of violence in the relations between male and female protagonists, the ways in which the representations of particular acts – the delitto del Circeo, the bombing of Bologna railway station – depict the general role violence plays in everyday life. Overall, the discussions contain valuable insights into the descriptive and often deceptive powers of Italian fiction; they also push us to understand the implications – and perhaps the consequences – of literary treatments of violence better than we have been able to grasp so far.

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Romantic adventures; the Free Cinema movement; and an 18th century duel

This week’s TLS (March 29) is a special issue devoted to European culture which includes three very informative pieces on Italian writers. David Robey reviews the first two volumes of the eventual four volumes on Emilio Salgari (1862-1911) by Ann Lawson Lucas. Salgari’s adventure romances, Robey suggests, all contain the defining features of the genre: ‘heroes of exceptional strength and prowess and heroines of remarkable beauty; idealised passionate love; plots made up of travel, chance events and physical conflict or struggle’ (features generated exclusively by Salgari’s imagination and his life in the library stacks since he never left Italy and had to spend all his time writing). Then Anna Coatman reviews the English translation of the lively London diaries of the film director Lorenza Mazzetti (she announced ‘I’m a genius’ when she first arrived at the Slade School of Fine Art from work on a potato farm and the Slade’s director invited her to come back the next day). She became one of the founders of the Free Cinema movement (‘Perfection is not an aim. An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude’) along with Karel Reisz, Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson. Finally, Joseph Farrell describes the duel (‘Pistols for two and coffee for one’) fought, or at least performed, in 1766 between Giacomo Casanova and Count Franciszek Branicki. Branicki was the more seriously wounded but the duellists continued to exchange good wishes daily for their respective recoveries.

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Il plotone perduto: il 26 marzo 1944

Il 26 marzo del 1944, settantacinque anni fa, quindici soldati italoamericani furono trucidati dai nazisti ad Ameglia in Liguria dopo il fallimento di una missione di sabotaggio. Un episodio quasi trascurato dagli storici: e i quindici soldati sono ricordati solo da una lapide in un borgo remoto. Il 26 marzo, al Centro Studi Americani di Roma (via Caetani 32), si è tenuto un convegno con dibattito e approfondimento della storia del “plotone perduto” con interventi dello storico Massimo Teodori, il Procuratore generale della Corte militare d’appello, Marco De Paolis, il vicedirettore di Repubblica, Gianluca Di Feo, il vicedirettore di Rai Cultura, Giuseppe Giannotti, e il presidente della Oss Society, Charles Pinck. La Repubblica (Rep) ha raccontato il massacro, con una versione anche in inglese.

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INDELIBLE / INDELEBILE – NEW DEADLINE OF THE CALL FOR PAPERS

The new deadline for the submission of paper proposals to the international Interdisciplinary conference, INDELIBLE / INDELEBILE  – Representation in the arts of (in)visible violence against women and their resistance, supported by ACIS on 23-25 October 2019 at Flinders University in Adelaide (South Australia), is 30 March 2019 (details for submissions below). Our interdisciplinary conference aims to contribute to the ‘glocal’ conversation on the topic of gendered violence and at the same time raise awareness of the global extent of the problem by analysing ways in which both such violence and resistance to it are represented in the arts. While a key strand of the conference will concern the arts in contemporary Italy, its scope will be broad, encouraging comparison with other societies across space and time. Keynote speakers will be Dacia Maraini (accompanied by a performance of her Passi affrettati) and Sarah Wendt. We welcome papers engaging with any of the following (and associated) topics, in relation to poetry, literature, theatre, opera, music, cinema or other visual arts: Continue reading

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Inaugural ACIS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Laura Lori as the inaugural ACIS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne. By creating and co-funding this position, ACIS is affirming its commitment to new PhD graduates in Italian Studies, recognising the difficulties they face in the current national and international academic climate. Laura completed her PhD in Italian Studies at La Trobe University, and has recently concluded a period as a non-stipendiary Honorary Research Associate of ACIS. In that role she worked productively under the mentorship of Luciana d’Arcangeli at Flinders University, as evidenced by her research achievements outlined here. Laura describes her new two-year fellowship research proposal on Afro-Italian storytelling as follows: “My research aims to analyse how artists and migrants from the African Diaspora use theatre and literature to create a new transcultural identity in Italy. Specifically, I intend to work on how the collective or individual re-writing and mise en scène of theatrical plays by theatre companies and young migrants reshapes the idea of Italianness and challenges the nationalist and sovereignty discourse. I intend to work on three case studies in Italy creating a pilot project potentially applicable to similar realities in Australia.” We wish Laura all the very best with her Fellowship, and look forward to reporting on her research outcomes over the coming two years.
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Return to the Fold – Yasmin Haskell

ACIS is delighted to announce that Professorial Fellow Yasmin Haskell (foundation Cassamarca Chair in Latin Humanism) is returning to the University of Western Australia after two years at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. In Bristol she was Chair of Latin in the Department of Classics and Ancient History and served as Director of the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition. Some highlights of her time in Europe were commissioning an historically-informed concert performance of the Viennese baroque Jesuit musical drama, Mulier Fortis (Strong Woman) in collaboration with her former UWA PhD student, Dr Makoto Harris Takao (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin); and several invited talks on Latin humanist topics, for instance at the Accademia Vivarium Novum (Frascati), European University Institute, Florence; University of Bologna; Catholic University of Milan; and most recently, to the Virgil Society, London. In November 2018 she gave the 39th annual Erasmus lecture at the Royal Academy of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, on ‘Erasmus and the Health of Scholars: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual’, and an associated masterclass for selected graduate students on ‘Passions for and of Learning in the Early Modern Period’. We wish Prof. Haskell a gentle landing on Australian soil, and look forward to hearing about her further activities in the coming year.

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ACIS Save Venice Fellowships 2019

ACIS is calling for applications for up to two ACIS Save Venice Fellowships for 2019. The Fellowships are based in Venice, open to postgraduate and early career researchers, cover the three months between mid-September and mid-December 2019, and are worth $8000 each. Fellows will be EITHER a current Masters or PhD candidate in any area of Italian Studies at an Australasian university OR a postdoctoral researcher in any area of Italian Studies within 3 years of successful completion of their Masters or PhD at an Australasian university. The Fellowship is designed for those researchers and scholars whose research and/or career can benefit in any way from a period in Venice and the use of the city’s substantial resources. ACIS expects that people working in the fields of History, Art History, Fine Art, Cultural and Media Studies, and Restoration and Museum Studies will be particularly interested, but applications will be welcome from any field across the humanities and social sciences. Further information about the Fellowships and the application process can be found here and on the page under Fellowships. The closing date for applications is 11 March, 2019.
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CALL FOR PAPERS: CONVEGNO ICOJIL XII. LETTERATURA EBRAICA IN PIEMONTE

Il Comitato scientifico delle International Conferences on Jewish Italian Literature (Icojil) intende organizzare nella ‘Scola’ di Cuneo, alla Biblioteca e Centro Studi sugli Ebrei in Piemonte “Davide Cavaglion”, 26-28 giugno 2019, il suo dodicesimo convegno. Come indica il titolo, Letteratura ebraica in Piemonte: da Artom a Zargan, sarà dedicato ai lavori degli scrittori ebrei piemontesi. Terra in cui è nato uno dei nuclei storici della Resistenza antifascista e che ha visto un’intensa attività partigiana nella seconda guerra mondiale ma ha anche sentito le aspre ripercussioni fasciste, il Piemonte è una regione nella quale la presenza ebraica (ritrattata in “Argon”) data da molti secoli ed ha contribuito sia all’Unità d’Italia che ai principali movimenti intellettuali del Novecento.   Continue reading

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Awards for Jo-Anne Duggan Prize 2019

ACIS is delighted to congratulate the winners of the Jo-Anne Duggan Prize for 2019 for Best Essay, Best Creative Work, and Highly Recommended. Rory McKenzie (PhD candidate, VUW, New Zealand) has been awarded the Best Essay prize for his project entitled ‘A translation stalemate: The Dark Horse in Italian‘.  Valentina Maniacco (PhD candidate, Griffith University) has been awarded the Best Creative Work prize for her entry ‘Translating the allusions in Tito Maniacco’s Mestri di mont (2007)’. And Nicole Townsend (PhD candidate, UNSW) has been Highly Recommended for her essay entry ‘The ‘enemy other’: Identity and belonging within the Italian-Australian community during the Second World War‘. The abstracts for each of the three entries can be found on the Winners page under Prize on our main menu above.

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ACIS postgraduate scholarships for 2019

ACIS is delighted to congratulate the three winners of the ACIS Cassamarca postgraduate scholarships for research in Italy in 2019. Julia Pelosi-Thorpe (MA, Italian Studies (University of Melbourne) awarded the Dino De Poli Scholarship for her project ‘Imitate da Ovidio: gender ventriloquism in the seicento epistole eroiche’; Andrea Pagani (PhD, Literary and Cultural Studies, Monash University) for ‘Beyond Pinocchio: Italian National Identity in Carlo Collodi’s Works for Primary Schools (1877-1890)’; and Margherita Angelucci (PhD, Literary and Cultural Studies, Monash University) for ‘A New Way of Being Italian through the Lens of Hip Hop’. The abstracts for each project will be available shortly on the Winners page on our Scholarships menu.

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